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Problems driving at night vertigo

I have been suffering from TMJ since 2004. When it first happened I could not drive because it felt like the car was pulling to the right. As time went on, the driving during the day has come back to almost normal. The night time driving is still a problem especially on a highway. It feels like my eyes are the problem. It is driving me crazy. The eye doctor says my eyes are fine. My ears are always clogged and my facial pain is severe. Does any one else experience night time driving difficulty from vertigo or dizziness?
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First Helper User Profile jennikay
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replied February 24th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
lots of people have problems with vertigo or dizzyness. I dont think that its your eyes. it could be your ears. the tmj puts pressure on your ears and in particular the eustation tube.

Have you been to an ENT? YOu should try that and also take some anti inflamitories before you drive as well as appling heat to the joint/ear area. try that--and keep us updated.

do you have a good doctor to go to for the tmd? what all have you tried?
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replied February 25th, 2008
My story is full of ups and downs.......
I have been to 3 ENT's, a Chiropractor, an Oral Surgeon and an Acupucturist. The ENT's said there was nothing wrong. The Oral Surgeon said I had TMJ. The Chiropractor helped with the neck pain and the Acupuncture didn't really help at all. It all started, believe it or not when my son told me a joke when I was driving. I laughed so hard and opened my mouth so wide that my jaw snapped. I actually lost vision for 5 seconds which the Eye Doctor said was normal with a TMJ episode. Since then I have had extreme facial pain, vertigo, sore neck muscles and headaches. I have tried a lot of different treatments but as soon as I get one problem under control, another one gets worse.
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replied February 26th, 2008
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How are you being treated for your TMJ? Bite splint? Medications? Etc.? Night driving is more difficult for me and I don't know if it's related to my TMJ or not. You already may be aware that the face has a major nerve called Trigeminal that has 3 major branches - one along lower jaw, another right across the middle (cheek bones) and the other around the eyes. This nerve has a major spot or ganglion where all the branches meet and it is right at the TMjoint. You could have injured this nerve resulting in Trigeminal Neuropathy.

The really bad face pain I have began about 5 years ago has been helped with a medication called Lyrica. It is a God-send to me. I recently tried to wean off the medication just to see what would happen (and try and cut costs) and the face pain came back full-strength.

This is something you could look into. There is no way to check for it other than the doctor needs to listen and then you can try the med starting at a very low dose and build up to the "working" dose of 75 mg. 3 times each day. Once we tried to increase the dose and it did adversely affect my cognitive function, so I'm back down to the working dose. My eyes are clearer now that the pain in my face and TMJ is controlled. Now I just don't like to drive at night but will.

Talk to your doc and see what comes of it. Please take care.

God bless...
Carol
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replied February 26th, 2008
Medications
I wear a splint at night. It helps sometimes but there are days when the clenching is so bad that I wake up in pain. The only med prescribed for me was Valium. This always releives the facial pain but I don't like taking it. It also helps me with the night driving so I take it sparingly especially if I must travel far at night. I have noticed over the years that if my allergies act up or I get a sinus infection, this makes it ten times worse. Now I am trying Guafenisin and Nasalcrom. I read somewhere that some people have good results because they both work on relieving inflammation and help open the eustachion tubes. I've tried alot of different things so I guess I'll try this combo.
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replied February 27th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
yes do try it--everything is worth a try-let us know if this works
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replied April 3rd, 2008
I know what you mean
I have probs with the same thing that you do I really, really hate driving during the DAY though. I don't have the problem at night time like you do but I know what you are going through. I also have TMJ and I feel like I am pulled to the left the dominant side that I have TMJ.
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replied January 24th, 2009
vertigo and driving
two years ago i was told i had the start of oesteoporosis in my neck when normally your neck is curved mine is now straight .I get alot of pain in my lower neck and my eyes often have that kaleidoscope effect.I have danced until i was 40 professionally and have been told that this could have been the cause.Yesterday morning i was driving to work 6.30am and my head just had the weirdest sensation i was so scared and worried that i nearly caused myself to have a panic attack.I felt that if my eyes had done there normal trick i would have surely lost control of the car.I have started to take SERC 16 for my vertigo but everytime i drive i get an out of body feeling.Anyone any ideas this is starting to make me paranoid.
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replied February 7th, 2009
Vertigo and Driving
I was just looking up dizziness while driving because I thought I might just have really bad night vision or something causing me to feel dizzy, but I never thought it could be due to TMJ. I get really blurred vision while driving, and get kind of dizzy and feel like I'm moving all over the road; but during the day I'm fine. I even considered that it might be from when I was younger and experimented with drugs. LOL I'm happy I'm not the only one...But I don't know what to do for it. I avoid driving at night as much as possible. It is an extreme inconvenience.
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replied June 8th, 2009
Delighted to discover this page -- like the person above, I came across it by chance when Googling "driving vertigo", but it had never occurred to connect my driving problems with TMJ, which I've had since childhood -- I grind my teeth at night (I wear a plastic mouthguard while sleeping which has to be replaced every few years as I chew right through the plastic) and clench my teeth during the day unless I make a conscious effort not to do so. Anyway, after reading the above (in which people have described EXACTLY what I've experienced -- kaleidoscope effect with headlights at night, problems on multi-lane roads with dizziness, car seeming to be moving all over the road and/or pulling to one side -- I actually took the car to the garage to get the alignment and tyres checked!), I found that I could get rid of my driving problems by simply making an effort to unclench my teeth -- as soon as I managed to get my jaw unlocked (not always easy), the dizziness went away. Now if I could only learn how to keep myself from grinding and clenching them in the first place, I'd be happy ......
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replied February 27th, 2012
driving with vertigo
I see that this was in 2008. Could you please tell me if your problems have gone away. And if so, how??? I am now experiencing the feeling of the car pulling to one side. This has given me great anxiety for driving during the day and night which is really a burden for me.. Help!!
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replied March 23rd, 2012
Dizziness, Kaleidoscope effect while driving.
Hello you are not alone. I am here too because of the very same issues you are having. It's pretty scary, isnt it. As with many of the posters, I too have TMJ but I never ever gave it a thought. Also taking a beta blocker for High Blood Pressure. I consider myself pretty young 49.
Driving can be a real problem for me too. Also if I turn my head quickly or move my eyes from one spot to the next. The kaleidoscope effect (day time for me)and it feels like I am spinning, pulling to the side also at times. My eyes also feel very dry. CRAZY but true.
I have thought maybe it is carbon fumes at one point as well.
So, I am going to re-teach myself to not clinch my teeth and not have mouth so tight and see if that works.
But the best part is knowing that there are other people who also deal with this. My husband does too some times.
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